|Jurisdiction||Government of Germany|
The traditional name of the ministry handling Germany's foreign affairs is the Foreign Office or AA (German: Auswärtige Amt). It is responsible for the foreign policy as well as the German EU politics. It is led by the federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (German: Bundesminister des Auswärtigen)
- Auswärtiges Amt
- Weimar Republic 1919-1933
- The Third Reich 1933-1945
- Federal Republic of Germany
- German Democratic Republic
- Foreign Ministers
- Spies of the DDR Ministry of State Security ("Stasi")
- Related pages
The Foreign Office is part of the foreign service of Germany. The other part is the parts of the other agencies of the federal government based abroad.
The Foreign Office handles contact between Germany and other countries or international organisations such as the United Nations. This included trying to get a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations as part of the proposed 2005 UN reforms. The Foreign Office is near the old DDR Foreign Ministry in Berlin. The big old building in the Werderschen Markt became the Reichbanks headquarters in 1940 and from 1959 the central committee headquarters of the SED. The Foreign Office has a "second headquarters" on Adenauerallee in Bonn.
There are German embassies and consulates or consulates-general in most capitals of the world as well as in larger towns of the countries.
The Berlin headquarters job is to coordinate German diplomacy, and study the information passed on from the embassies, permanent representations and consulates. These are the "eyes, ears and voice" of the Federal Government abroad.
The Foreign Office has 145 embassies, 59 consulates general, twelve permanent representations (at international organisations) and ten offices abroad.
There are also three "German Information Centres (GIC)" with the job of giving information about Germany and the German language.
There are also 356 honorary consuls. These are often German businessmen who do some work for the Foreign Office.
The Bonn office handles information technology particularly. Every German agency abroad is connected to Bonn, which can send the information to Berlin. The Bonn office also arranges communications for the Foreign Minister and the Chancellorwhen they are abroad.
Some people say that there is corruption in the way senir jobs are filled.
This is because the Foreign Office does not publish the qualifications of its top diplomats anymore. They stopped after terrorists used the information to attack the German embassy in Stockholm in 1975 and the RAF murdered diplomat Gerold von Braunmühl in 1986.
North German Confederation
The Foreign Office started in 1870 as a part of the North German Confederation. It was headed by a permanent secretary, just like the Foreign Office of the German empire. There were ministers only since 1919. This was why it was called an Office not a ministry .
German Empire (1871-1918)
The Foreign Office of the German Empire was based in Berlin Wilhelmstraße 76.
The empire tookover the Foreign Office of the North German alliance unchanged. However the German federal states kept a considerable degree of independence in their own foreign policy.
The AA had two departments
Higher politics, personnel, ceremonies, budgets, registeration of the schools and churches. The head of this department was a permanent secretary who was also the permanent representative of the German Chancellor in the Foreign Office at the same time. The German Chancellor had the topmost responsibility in foreign policy.
The second department was responsible for trade, traffic, consulates, national law, civil law, the art and science, the private matters of Germans abroad, also, justice, police and Post Office, emigration, ship matters. This department was headed by the director of the Foreign Office.
Legal matters were transferred to the new Department III in 1885. A colonial department was formed in 1890, it became the Imperial Colonial Office in 1907. Department IV was formed in 1915 to handle intelligence.
|Directors of the colonial department|
|No||Name||Start of term||End of term|
|1||Friedrich Richard Krauel||1890||1890|
|3||Oswald Freiherr von Richthofen||1896||1898|
|4||Gerhard von Buchka||1898||1900|
|5||Oscar Wilhelm Stüberl||1900||1905|
|6||Ernst Fürst von Hohenlohe-Langenberg||1905||1906|
Weimar Republic 1919-1933
The Foreign Office became a ministry in the Weimar Republic, headed by a Reich Minister. The permanent secretary no longerThe minister had the sole responsibility for the foreign policy now. The name "Foreign Office" was kept, out of tradition. Gustav Stresemann was the most famous foreign minister of this time, and moulded German foreign policy just like Bismarck had done during the empire.
The Third Reich 1933-1945
When the Nazis seized power the Foreign Office started following Nazi Party ideas. However, there was some resistance, especially from people like Adam von Trott zu Solz and Ulrich von Hassell.
The Foreign Office wrote a formal letter about the Jews and foreign policy in 1939: It said that giving the Jews a homeland in Palestine was dangerous to world peace. This note is a big reason why the second set of Nuremberg Trials included officials from the Foreign Office.
Also see: Fritz Kolbe, Kurt Georg Kiessinger
After the Second World War Germany stayed under allied control, at least in part, until 1955. This meant that there was no need for a Foreign Office until 1951, when the new Germany got more control overs its own affairs.
Federal Republic of Germany
The new Foreign Office was set up on March 15th, 1951 in Bonn and kept the name of "Office".
Many of the senior officials of the AA were ex nazis. in fact More ex party members were in charge parts of the Foreign Office than there were party members doing the same type of job during the Third Reich.
Since 1966 the Foreign Minister has often been the leader of the smaller coalition partner in coalition governments. The exceptions were the vice-chancellorships of Jürgen Möllemann and Franz Müntefering.
German Democratic Republic
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs handled the foreign policy of the government of the DDR.
|Außenstaatssekretäre 1871 - 1919|
|No||Name||Term start||Term end|
|1||Hermann von Thile||1871||1872|
|2||Hermann Ludwig von Balan1||1872||1873|
|3||Bernhard Ernst von Bülow||1873||1879|
|4||Josef Maria von Radowitz1||1879||1880|
|5||Chlodwig Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst1||1880||1880|
|6||Friedrich Graf zu Limburg-Stirum1||1880||1881|
|8||Paul Graf von Hatzfeld zu Trachenberg||1881||1885|
|9||Herbert Fürst von Bismarck2||1885||1890|
|10||Adolf Freiherr Marschall von Beiberstein||1890||1897|
|11||Bernhard Fürst von Bülow||1897||1900|
|12||Oswald Freiherr Richthofen||1900||1906|
|13||Heinrich Leonhard von Tschirschky und Bögendorff||1906||, 1907|
|14||Wilhelm Freiherr von Schoen||1907||1910|
|15||Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter||1910||1912|
|16||Gottlieb von Jagow||1913||1916|
|18||Richard von Kühlman||1917||1918|
|19||Paul von Hintze||1918||1918|
|20||Wilhelm Heinrich Solf||1918||1918|
|21||Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau||1918||1919|
|2||acting until 17 May 1886|
|Reichsminister des Auswärtigen 1919 - 1945|
|No||Name||Term start||Term end||Party|
|1||Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau||13 February 1919||21 June 1919||Independent|
|2||Hermann Müller (SPD)||21 June 1919||26 March 1920||SPD|
|3||Adolf Klöster||10 April 1920||8 June 1920||SPD|
|4||Walter Simons||25 June 1920||4 May 1921||Independent|
|5||Friedrich Rosen||10 May 1921||22 October 1921||Independent|
|6||Joseph Wirth||26 October 1921||31 January 1922||Centre|
|7||Walther Rathenau||1 February 1922||24 June 1922||DDP|
|8||Joseph Wirth||24 June 1922||14 November 1922||Centre|
|9||Friedrich von Rosenberg||22 November 1922||11 August 1923||Independent|
|10||Gustav Stresemann||13 August 1923||3 October 1929||DVP|
|11||Julius Curtis||4 October 1929||9 October 1931||DVP|
|12||Heinrich Brüning||9 October 1931||30 May 1932||Centre|
|13||Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath||1 June 1932||4 February 1938||NSDAP(from 1937)|
|14||Joachim von Ribbentrop||4 February 1938||1 May 1945||NSDAP|
|15||Arthur Seyß-Inquart||1 May 1945||2 May 1945||NSDAP|
|16||Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk||2 May 1945||23 May 1945||Independent|
|Minister für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten der DDR 1949 - 1990|
|No||Name||Life data||Term start||Term end||Party|
|1||Georg Dertinger||1902-1968||12 October 1949||15 January 1953||CDU|
|2||Anton Ackermann1||1905-1973||15 January 1953||July 1953||SED|
|3||Lothar Bolz||1903-1986||July 1953||24 June 1965||NDPD|
|4||Otto Winzer||1902-1975||24 June 1965||20 January 1975||SED|
|5||Oskar Fischer||1923-||3 March 1975||12 April 1990||SED|
|6||Markus Meckel||1952-||12 April 1990||20 August 1990||SPD|
|7||Lothar de Maizière2||1940-||20 August 1990||2 October 1990||CDU|
|2||Jointly as prime minister of the DDR|
|Bundesminister des Auswärtigen seit 1951|
|No||Name||Life data||Term start||Term end||Party|
|1||Konrad Adenauer1||1876-1967||15 March 1951||6 June 1955||CDU|
|2||Heinrich von Brentano||1904-1964||6 June 1955||17 October 1961||CDU|
|3||Gerhard Schröder||1910-1989||14 November 1961||30 November 1966||CDU|
|4||Willy Brandt||1913-1992||1 December 1966||20 October 1969||SPD|
|5||Walter Scheel||1919-2016||21 October 1969||15 May 1974||FDP|
|6||Hans-Dietrich Genscher||1927-2016||17 May 1974||17 September 1982||FDP|
|7||Helmut Schmidt1||1918-2015||17 September 1982||4 October 1982||SPD|
|8||Hans-Dietrich Genscher||1927-2016||4 October 1982||17 May 1992||FDP|
|9||Klaus Kinkel||1936-||18 May 1992||26 October 1998||FDP|
|10||Joschka Fischer||1948-||27 October 1998||22 November 2005||GREEN|
|11||Frank-Walter Steinmeier||1956-||22 November 2005||27 October 2009||SPD|
|12||Guido Westerwelle||1961-2016||28 October 2009||17 December 2013||FDP|
|13||Frank-Walter Steinmeier||1956-||17 December 2013||27 January 2017||SPD|
|14||Sigmar Gabriel||1959-||27 January 2017||Present||SPD|
|1||Jointly as Chancellor of the Federal Republic|
Two Chancellors also Foreign Minister. Konrad Adenauer as the first Foreign Secretary of the Federal Republic of Germany and Helmut Schmidt, after FDP had left coalition and cabinet. Hans-Dietrich Genscher was Foreign Minister under both an SPD and a CDU chancellor.
Spies of the DDR Ministry of State Security ("Stasi")
|Name||Year joined BRD Foreign Ministry||Year recruited by Stasi||Assumed name|
|Hagen Blau||1961||1960||Detlef, Merten|
|Gisela von Raussendorff||Blume|
|Klaus von Raussendorff||1957||Brede|
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), mainly funded by the Foreign Office
Foreign Office of Germany Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.